CEO of AUDI AG
Speech at the Audi Brand Summit
June 5, 2018 | Shenzhen, China
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Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is always a pleasure and an honor to be back in China. Not because this is the largest single-market of Audi worldwide. But after 30 years of operating in this country, travelling to China always feels like coming home.
Two years ago, we developed a new event format to present exciting products and technologies: the Audi Brand Summit was born. This Audi Summit took place in Shanghai. Today we have gathered in Shenzhen. Inmidst of the Silicon Valley in China where top experts of robotics and artificial intelligence work closely together. We are proud to partner with the leading tech companies of China. So once again, welcome to all of you!
Today, we celebrate a very unique and special highlight, the world premiere of the Audi Q8. You will be among the first people in the world to see a masterpiece of design and a bold statement of our brand. And yes: We are very aware of the fact that more than half of the Chinese customers are ready to give up a car brand. For one reason:
If that brand doesn’t offer the right digital services. At Audi, we define the digital user experience of tomorrow. And I am sure: You will like what the Q8 has to offer.
But before the Audi Q8 shows off, let’s walk down the strategic implications on our industry. My story today is about making life easier. People want to simplify their day, and travel easily. Today, more than half of the world’s population is living in cities. The United Nations say: By the middle of the century seven out of ten people will live in big metropolitan areas. While the number of cars is growing, streets and infrastructure unfortunately do not. Vital resources like energy, clean air and fresh water are limited. This reality is one we all must urgently face and address. Yet: Emerging technologies enable us to provide new mobility options.
At Audi, we always try to reinvent the car. Refined technology will make driving safer, cleaner and more convenient than ever before. In the year 2025, we plan to sell 800,000 electric cars and plug-in hybrids. In other words: By the middle of the next decade; every third Audi sold will be electrified. Chinese urban areas such as Shenzhen shine a light on the key challenges for urban mobility in the 21st century. We know: This country is serious about tackling its pollution issues. And so are we. At the global Audi Summit in Brussels on August 30th, we will deliver on our promise. With the premiere of the Audi e-tron. Our first fully-electric car.
Our e-tron models will be the number one in the premium class: best technology, best quality, and most beautiful. At Audi, we are not only producing cleaner cars. We just decided to take production to the next level:
We are reducing and balancing CO2 emissions. By 2030, each of our sites will be carbon-neutral.
The new premium reflects a new lifestyle. It is not only about personal status. It is more about our customers? role in society and their contribution to it. Connected cars develop an unbeatable swarm intelligence. They literally see around the corner. They inform each other on live traffic and prevent accidents. And the power of digitalization is: It will help reinvent our life in the city. It will also transform our business more and more.
Therefore, we set up the myAudi digital ecosystem. Because we transform our hardware business-centered company into a premium digital car company with even new business models for mobility.
In crowded cities, there are many good reasons for sharing cars. And it is up to us to offer a premium sharing experience. We call it Audi on demand and it just started in large cities around the world. With the touch of a button on their smartphone people order their favorite Audi. Nice and clean, with a full tank and ready to go.
At the end of the next decade, we expect every third Audi worldwide to be shared, not owned.
And finally our vision of the new premium is the reason why – in just three years’ time from now - we will present our first autonomous pilot fleet. This fleet will be based on the Audi Aicon long-distance lounge. It will be in 2021, on the occasion of our claim “Vorsprung durch Technik” turning fifty. Autonomous cars make our customers feel more autonomous as well. This is why we expand our leadership in autonomous driving. This is why we develop a new urban philosophy based on the space-saving technology of piloted parking. One day, there will be new premium delivery services right into the car: parcels, grocery, wardrobe or even a hot meal.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mobility is no longer just about getting from A to B. With a completely new user experience, we move and inspire people more than ever. New premium mobility is about making the best of your time.
Thank you …and stay thrilled for what’s next!
Jürgen De Graeve
Tel.: +49 841 89 34084